Millions of brassieres have been created and worn throughout the years. Millions of ‘em.
For many of us, the undergarment is simply a daily staple that serves a useful purpose.
Yet there have been certain bras in history and pop culture – bras of all shapes, sizes and functions – that have left a stamp on our collective memory.
Here are some of the memorable bras we’re still loving years later.
Madonna’s conical bra.
Madonna has long been the queen of mind-boggling concert outfits (sorry, Lady Gaga, but it’s true), and the silk, cone-shaped brassiere she wore during her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour quickly became her most iconic. A creation of designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, the eye-catching bra has lived on in pop culture history… and many a dress-up party costume.
Sing it sista. Image: Getty.
One Little Mermaid, one big lesson in fashion improvisation. Forgot to pack a bra for your summer holiday? Simply pop down to the beach, find two conveniently-sized seashells, et voila - you’re sorted. In all seriousness, though, there probably isn’t a woman alive who hasn’t daydreamed about frolicking around under the sea with a tail, a tropical fish for a friend, and two shells strapped to her bosom. Thanks, Ariel.
What little girl didn't want to be Ariel? Image: The Walt Disney Company.
Princess Leia’s 'slave' bra.
Suffice to say, anyone who grew up on a steady diet of Star Wars - particularly those of the male variety - remembers Princess Leia’s 'slave' ensemble from Return of the Jedi. For the uninitiated, it comprised a bra and loincloth with metal detailing. Makes you grateful that underwire is the only heavy-duty material in our undergarments these days, hmm?
Pretty much everyone remembers this moment. Image: Lucasfilm.
The Bullet bra.
These days, many of us buy bras specifically designed to not be too obvious under our clothes. It was a different story in the '40s and '50s, when the ‘bullet’-shaped bra rose in popularity. Actresses Jane Russell, Jayne Mansfield and Lana Turner often wore their bullet bras under tight jumpers, creating an eye-catching silhouette that gave rise to the term ‘Sweater Girl’.
This bra gave rise to the term ‘Sweater Girl’. Image: Lionsgate Television.